Relief from chronic sinusitis
Chronic sinusitis sufferers often experience pressure headaches, severe face pain, lethargy and loss of sense of smell and taste. The majority of sinusitis patients tend to live with their symptoms and take medication, such as nasal sprays, antibiotics and steroids, which may help. If symptoms do not improve, the most commonly performed surgical option to date has been endoscopic sinus surgery, which can invlove cutting and drilling larger holes in the delicate bones of the paranasal sinus complex, close to the brain and eyes, to improve drainage.
A minimally invasive option in sinus surgery
Diagram of the 4 sinuses
However, a new less invasive technique - balloon sinuplasty - is now available at Spire Roding Hospital to patients from East London, Essex and the surrounding area. This new technique uses the same technology that is used by cardiologists to widen blocked arteries. Dedicated balloons widen the drainage channels from the sinuses into the nasal cavities, with the aim of improving drainage of secretions and hence relieving pressure within the sinus complex. The following pictures show how this new technique works.
Following general anaesthetic, a guided wire is fed from the nose into the sinus cavities and a tiny balloon is then fed along the wire to the blockage. Once safely anchored in place, the balloon is gently inflated displacing the fine bone at the sinus junction without damaging the delicate membrane lining. The balloon is then deflated and removed. The surgery takes about 30 - 45 minutes and patients are normally able to go home the same day.